Why do we use sources?
Critical Thinking and Research
- Identify important problems.
- Explore relevant issues.
- Evaluate available evidence.
- Consider the implications of the decisions.
Critical thinking is NOT collecting information to support established conclusion.
- Survey, considering as many perspectives as possible.
- Analyze, identifying and then separating out the parts of the problem.
- Evaluate, judging the merit of various ideas, claims, and evidence.
Why Use Sources?
- To understand an issue
- See what has come before
- To find the facts
- To inform and persuade your audience
You need to understand that research is connected with ethos, an appeal that establishes credibility with readers.
Here is a good explanation of citations in MLA.
Basic MLA Works Cited format:
Author(s). “Article Title.” Source, vol. #, no. #, season year, pp. xx-xx. Database, URL.
Kong, Les. “Business Sources for Education Majors.” Education Graduate Students Journal, vol. 75, no. 4, 2014, pp. 12-19. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/52506788.
Ethos is about values. In rhetoric we connect ethos to character, credibility, and trustworthiness. At their core, these concepts have to do with values. We tend to believe and trust those individuals who exemplify the values we cherish, who live the sort of life that we would want to live. Ethos Handout from University of Maryland
Ethos is inferred, NOT possessed. Five strategies for persuading through character.
- Personal info
- Identification with Audience
- Point of View
- Balanced Presentation
5 Ways to Persuade with Character (Ethos) | How to Craft an Argument
Audience is quite possibly the most important thing to consider when writing an argument. You need to appeal to them, understand their problems, values, and beliefs, in order to convince them of your point of view.
Who your audience is should influence how you present your argument.
Who your audience is should influence how you present yourself.
Determine what is important to your audience. What do they really care about? What do they value?
We are going to analyze a text together. Take notes on what you notice.
Start with the Text
See first, then look.
What do you see? What stands out? What is happening?
For this assignment you will pick a text, define, describe, and analyze the rhetorical context and/or argument the text is making. All texts have an author or authors and are created with a purpose. A rhetorical analysis helps us to understand the purpose it was created for and what it is saying or arguing.
Consider the ethos, pathos, and logos of the text. What appeals are being used in the text you are analyzing? Ethos – appeals to character. Pathos – emotional appeals. Logos – appeals to reason and evidence.
What to look at for a Rhetorical Analysis
- Consider the topic.
- Consider the audiences of the text.
- Consider the author.
- Consider the medium and design.
- Examine the language.
- Consider the occasion.
Be specific when referring to your text. Have the text in front of you if you can. Then you can reference specifics and avoid generalizations.
Rhetorical Analysis Notes
- Make sure to describe the text you are analyzing to your audience. Explain what you see and how you see it. Don’t just refer to the image, paint a picture with words.
- Clearly describe the methods of persuasion being used. If they are using a celebrity, make sure to highlight that and the corresponding appeal being used.
A Checklist for Analyzing Images (Especially Advertisements) on page 145 of our textbook is very thorough and helpful for analyzing visual images.
Page 181 has a checklists for analyzing a text. Use these as guidelines to begin your analysis.
Page 191 has a checklist for writing your analysis of an argument. Very helpful for the early stages of drafting.
Research for a Rhetorical Analysis
The assignment asks you to research scholarly sources to add to your analysis.
If your text is dealing with a major issue, you will want to find some scholarly research to help define, back up, and analyze the text.
For example. If your text deals with gender issues, search for gender AND media. Or gender AND ads. Or sexism and media. What else can you look up?
Find keywords related to the broader topic and bring in research to use in your analysis.
Sample Rhetorical Analyses
- The Truth About America
- Segregation and Unequal Representation
- What the Truck
- The Logic of Suicide
- Call Me, Beep Me, If Ya Wanna Reach Me.
- In the Arms of an Angel
- ‘Imagine’ World Peace. I Wonder If You Can
- The Hypersexualization of Women
- Don’t Look Away
Tips for Finding a Text
Start with a question. What do you care about? What matters to you?
Find a text you can see multiple times. Pick a scene from a movie. A short film, text, ad, song, video, or commercial. Something related to what you are interested in that you can look at several times.
Ask yourself, “How does this help others?” Will analyzing this text connect to a broader or more important topic?